You are here

Systematic Review FAQs

How long will it take? 

Traditional systematic reviews typically take at least 12 months to conduct. A detailed timeline can be found in the, Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (Timeline for a Cochrane review).

What are the steps in conducting a systematic review?

  1. Frame the question for a review
  2. Perform a preliminary search for relevant studies
  3. Refine question if needed
  4. Create protocol
  5. Run exhaustive searches
  6. Keep track of all search data
  7. Export results to citation manager
  8. Remove duplicate records
  9. Identify relevant work
  10. Assess the quality of studies
  11. Summarize the evidence
  12. Interpret the findings

Why am I being charged?

You are being charged for resources that the library does not currently subscribe to in order for us to recover any costs that accrue while searching. You are also being charged for the librarian’s time. Librarians provide many services but a SR is a research project that involves scholarly work, an added component to the librarian’s regular service. It takes hundreds of hours of searching and recording to produce a systematic review of the literature. The hours spent will take away time from performing daily duties. 

Why do I need a team to conduct a systematic review?

Teams are essential to conduct a SR's in order to avoid bias and add appropriate expertise. It is necessary to have content experts to provide expertise in the area covered by the review, expert(s) in developing the procedures and documentation standards for the review, an expert in searching and documenting procedures, a person to manage all of the references and usually an expert in statistics.

What will the librarian's role be?

A librarian assist in revision of search question if needed, advise on broad vs narrow statement of question, help with clarification of definitions of concepts, assist with locating or creating inclusion/exclusion criteria, suggest databases to search, suggest keywords and MeSH  terms to use, conduct database searches, conduct grey literature searches, hand search or train hand searchers, teach researcher to use bibliographic management software, write methods section on search strategy and its execution, provide data archiving assistance, document and save search strategies and provide a line by line description of the search strategy.

Why is the librarian faculty member included as an author?

Please see ICMJE’s Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors

How can I learn more about writing a systematic review?

See Guide, How do I do a systematic review